UGA Horticulture Department

Horticulture Extension Specialists Reciece Innovation Grant Awards.

Two University of Georgia Extension Specialists in the Department of Horticulture have been selected to receive Extension Innovation Grants.  These grants are established to promote unique and innovative Extension research for projects that need seed funding to get them started,  or have a very specific focus that may not be covered under other outside granting agencies.  Dr. Cain Hickey, Extension Viticulture Specialist’s project is titled “Establishment of a Chardonel and Chambourcin vineyard for performance of own-roots and rootstocks in a region conducive to Pierce’s disease infection and vine death.”  Dr. Bodie Pennisi’s project is titled “Putting the P’s in IPM: Integrated Pest and Pollinator Management Hands-on.”  Well done colleagues!

 

 

 

Professor Pennisi Receives Public Service and Outreach Fellowship

Dr. Bodie Pennisi, Professor of Horticulture in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has been awarded a 2019-2020 Public Service and Outreach Fellowship.  Bodie is stationed at the Griffin campus and is heavily involved in the landscape industry and urban pollinator work. Her fellowship revolves around an approved project that was competitive and reviewed by the committee that selects PSO fellowships. Her project is titled “Empowering the New Landscape Entrepreneur: Increasing Business Training and Peer Engagement.” We congratulate Dr. Pennisi on this outstanding recognition!

Mary Lewis Wins Broadus Browne Student Competition & Receives the Paul Ecke Jr. Award

Congratulations to Graduate Student Mary Lewis (M.S., Fall 2019) who was notified on March 27 that she finished First in the CAES Broadus Browne Research Competition in the Masters Level Division. This is a very competitive competition open to all students in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Her research involves development of interspecific hybrids of Asclepias spp. (Milkweed) as well as developing propagation and production protocols for the taxa.

But Mary wasn’t done with her accolades! On April 3,  she was notified that she had been awarded the 2019 Paul Ecke Jr. Award sponsored by the Ecke family through the American Floral Endowment. This is a huge National honor, and comes with a $10,000.00, two-year scholarship. Mary was recruited to UGA by Dr. Tim Smalley, our current interim chair and undergraduate advisor, mentored as an undergraduate by Dr. Paul Thomas, and blossomed into a fine young scientist under Dr. Matthew Chappell, her graduate advisor. Paul Ecke Jr. was a huge influence in the floriculture industry and fostered the development of the industry via providing funding, mentoring and friendship. Even after his passing, Paul Ecke Jr. is still shepherding young floriculturists. We are grateful for the Ecke Family for their support of young scientists, for The American Floral Endowment for managing the program so effectively, and for Mary and her diligent work that earned her this scholarship and makes our department and all our Hort Dawgs look good! 

 

 

Marc van Iersel named UGA’s 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year

Dr. Marc van Iersel

The University of Georgia Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes a faculty member who has started a company based on research originated at UGA. Marc van Iersel was named the 2019 winner of this prestigious award. Marc van Iersel is the Vincent J. Dooley Professor of Horticulture in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and has spent more than 20 years supporting the horticulture industry through his research examining crop physiology and smart greenhouse production systems. A pioneer in optimizing controlled environment agriculture, van Iersel was elected as a fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science in 2018, recognizing his lifetime contributions to the horticulture industry. In 2017, he and colleague Erico Mattos co-founded Candidus Inc., a UGA agtech startup that is delivering customized lighting solutions for greenhouse agriculture, maximizing plant growth while minimizing electricity costs. Candidus’ novel technology creates predictability for growers by providing consistent lighting, which yields stronger, healthier plants. In addition to his role as CTO of Candidus, van Iersel served as mentor and advisor of UGA startup Reservoir LLC, a wireless irrigation company with a patent-pending sensor designed to improve irrigation efficiency.

UGA Horticulture Students Attend GGIA Capitol Day

On Wednesday, February 27, UGA Students got off to an early start to goin GA Green Industry Association board members at the State Capitol. We beat many legislators to their offices but still had some great visits with some of the folks who matter most. We followed that up with a visit with Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black who shared some fantastic news and had some words of advice for the students. “Shoot for perfection and you’ll achieve excellence every time.” If you know how hard Gary works for Ag in Georgia, you know these are more than just words to him.

Pictured below are GGIA members and UGA Horticulture Students presenting Governor Kemp with a Berkman print of Augusta National. He seemed genuinely surprised and didn’t know the history behind the print – which was a perfect horticultural history lesson.


Horticulture Graduate Students Impress at SR-ASHS

A number of graduate students from the Department of Horticulture presented their research at the annual Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Sciences meeting in Birmingham, AL this past weekend.

Mary Lewis was awarded 3rd place in the Norman F. Childers M.S. Graduate Student Paper competition for her presentation entitled “Assessing Hybridization Compatibility within and Among Asclepias spp.”

Jorge Reyes was awarded 3rd place in the Warren S. Barham Ph.D Graduate Student Paper Competition for this presentation entitled “Detection of the Gummy Stem Blight-Causing Pathogens (Stagonosporopsis spp.) in Watermelon Using Species-Specific LAMP Assays.

Congratulation to Mary and Jorge, and all the participants.

Jorge Reyes (Ph.D candidate) receiving his award

Southeastern Regional New Grape Grower’s Conference – December 11

The Southeastern Regional New Grape Grower’s Conference will be held in Athens, GA on December 11, and again in Asheville, NC on December 12.

The Southeastern Regional New Grape Grower’s Conference is a collaborative effort between the University of Georgia, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina State University. Personnel from those universities and industry members from the Georgia and North Carolina will give presentations at both locations.

    

The conference is intended to provide prospective and new vineyard and winery owners with basic considerations for starting up vineyards and wineries and to introduce the fundamentals of grape growing.

For more information, conference agenda, and registration:

please visit this link for the Athens, GA event… :

https://events.attend.com/f/1383787186

 

and this link for the Asheville, NC event:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/southeastern-new-grape-growers-meeting-tickets-52151161528

For those blog subscribers who already have a vineyard – please make potentially interested parties aware of this conference by sharing this link. Thanks in advance.

Hort Professor’s Work Featured on Cover of HortScience

Congratulations to Dr. John Ruter, our Armitage Endowed Professor and Director of the UGA Trial Gardens.   Dr. John Ruter’s research has been recently featured on the cover of HortScience, a journal of the American Society for Hort Science. The research involves the Formosan Sweetgum, Liquidambar formosana. Dr. Ruter and his graduate student, Kaitlin Barrios published this paper about the selection ‘Formosan Gold’ which as an outstanding cultivar trialed in Tifton, GA. Here is a link to the publication:

http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/53/10/1520.full.html?ijkey=IBxr7UlgrKilNkx&keytype=ref

 

Kimberly Cooper Awarded the First Oelschig Family Floriculture Scholarship

UGA Horticulture student Miss Kimberly Cooper was recently awarded the first Oelschig Family Floriculture Scholarship! The Oelschig family nursery and greenhouses in Savannah were established in 1882, making them the oldest nursery in the Southeast. Our former student, Kurt Oelschig is an Alum with an M.S. in Ag Economics from UGA, and took over the family business from his father George in the early 2000’s. The family has established this scholarship to support students with high achievement in the areas of greenhouse and floriculture. Kim was selected by the faculty for her leadership (Pax President), her great academic record and her 6 month internship at Green Circle Growers. Kim will receive a check for $1200.00 to support her senior year at UGA. Congratulations Kim! Its wonderful to see our industry leaders and former students contributing to the next generation of horticulture professionals. Go Hort Dawgs!!!

Hort Student Honored with Proven Winners Scholarship

We are very happy to announce that our very own Ruqayah Bhuiyan has been chosen to receive the National Proven Winners Grower Excellence Scholarship!!! This $5,000 scholarship is extremely competitive and was established by the Proven Winners Corporation to recognize the very best students in the floriculture industry! Ruqayah is the third UGA Hort Dept Student to receive this award over the last ten years! Well done Ruqayah! Many thanks to the Proven Winners Team for supporting our industry’s young professionals! Hort Dawgs bring it home!!!